BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romanian prosecutors have detained a 39-year-old man suspected of having ties to a Europe-based militant organisation, they said in a statement on Thursday.
Prosecutors from the DIICOT anti-organised crime and terrorism unit said the suspect, who they identified only as Ibrahim, has been posting photographs and video recordings of executions belonging to Islamic State.
The man, from the central Romanian county of Arges, gathered intelligence about a Romanian military site in 2015 with the purpose of sending it to a terrorist group, DIICOT said in a statement that did not identify the group.
“In the spring of 2015, the suspect travelled to a Romanian military point, carefully observing the access points and the way it was fenced in,” the statement said.
“The suspect collected the data to send it to a Salafist, pro-jihadist terrorist entity from a European Union state, a group whose followers went to Syrian-Iraqi territory and that was tied to the persons who claimed responsibility for the Paris terrorist attack on Nov. 13, 2015.”
Islamist gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in a concert hall and restaurants and bars in Paris in November 2015.
DIICOT’s chief prosecutor Daniel Horodniceanu was quoted as saying by state news agency Agerpres that the suspect became radicalised in a different country and was monitored for two years.
Horodniceanu added that prosecutors intervened when the suspect was about to send the information to the militant group.
He did not identify the military site for security reasons.
The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), which collaborated with prosecutors on the case, said in a statement that the suspect had been in contact with a Jihadist group while living in a different European country for several years.
“When he returned to Romania, the citizen undertook detailed documenting of a Romanian military objective... with the stated purpose of contributing to organise a terror attack at that base,” the SRI statement added.
Romania, a European Union and NATO country of 20 million people, hosts a U.S. ballistic missile defence station and has contributed troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Toby Davis